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How to Turn Down a Job Offer

Blog / March 22, 2018

You’ve spent weeks and months selling yourself to recruiters and potential employers. After several offers, you’ve made your selection. Now it’s time to let the others down gently. You want to be courteous and make all the employers who offered you a job feel good about selecting you. Here are six tips to decline a job offer.

Over the phone

A phone call seems most professional and respectful. And an open exchange gives them the chance to make a stronger offer. You can have a full conversation, complete with tone, and not risk having your words misunderstood in an email or letter. If you choose the phone, be responsible and follow up in writing. This will look professional and guarantee that your message won’t get lost in the memory of the hiring manager.

Be grateful

Let them know how much you appreciate the time they put into reading your resume, scheduling interviews, calling your references, and considering adding you to their team. You’re honored by the offer they made. Be sure to thank each person by name!

Keep it short and sweet

Don’t include too many details. They don’t need to know where you’re going and why. And listing too many reasons makes you seem insincere. If you simply didn’t like the company, say that it “wasn’t a good fit.” If the salary wasn’t enough, you can say that. too. Just be honest without offending anyone.

Be prompt

If a company gives you a deadline, send that email or make that phone call before the given date. If possible, it’s not a bad idea to wait until you’ve confirmed all the hiring details with the company that you did select before you decline the other offers. But definitely don’t exceed their timeline.

Offer pleasantries

Wish them the best. Let them know that you enjoyed meeting everyone. You could briefly follow up on a topic you conversed about—maybe a sports reference, a conference you both attended or some other commonality.

Answer any questions

Be honest and straightforward, not cryptic or mysterious. And most of all, remain polite. No matter what you thought of the company, be courteous and positive. You don’t want to burn any bridges—you never know when or where you’ll run into these people in the future!


For more information on how to evaluate your job offers, check out our website at


Blog written by Erin Greenhalgh